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Bio-Inspired complex and adaptive materials and surfaces

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, May 28, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Nature produces hierarchical and complex nanostructures and patterns through the self-assembly of polymeric building blocks. Using such strategies, nature managed to showcase an array of truly magnificent iridescent structural colouration in beetles-Chrysina gloriosa, and butterflies-Morpho rhetenor and even some plants- Pollia Condensata and Margaritaria Nobilis. Furthermore, hierarchical natural composites demonstrate crucial examples of lightweight, strong, and tough materials, such as pine cones, wood, and nacre to name a few examples of the diversity of the mechanical properties that can be achieved through self-assembly and mineralization.

We have been using cellulose and chitin-based self-assembly driven structures to mimic the helicoidal order and circularly polarized structural colours that are seen in Chrysina gloriosa, Pollia Condensata, and Margaritaria Nobilis. Such self-assembled materials present optical properties that can alter in response to external stimuli and offering opportunities to be used in sensing and diagnosis.

The aim of this Ph.D. project is to develop inorganic and metallic nanoparticles with specific shapes and surface charges to manipulate evaporation driven self-assembly process in bio-inspired artificial systems to develop responsive structures with truly unusual optical and mechanical properties. Such work will require developing processing techniques and instrumentation to fabricate, control and characterise the chemical, optical and mechanical behaviour of the new structures with switchable optical (dynamic colour changing systems) and mechanical (shape memory, shape adaptive and self-healing) properties.

The Ph.D. student will work with Dr. Dumanli-Parry (https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/ahugumrah.parry.html) in the School of Materials. For informal inquiries please contact Dr. Ahu Gumrah Dumanli-Parry at ahugumrah.parry[at]manchester.ac.uk. Please include a CV in your emails.

Degree Requirements:
Applicants should have a first or 2i UK honours degree (or equivalent) in materials science/engineering, chemistry, physics or a related discipline. A Master’s level qualification is desirable.

The proposed start date for this PhD project is 1st October 2019. The duration is between 3 and 4 years.

Degree Requirements:
Applicants should have a first or 2i UK honours degree (or equivalent) in materials science/engineering, chemistry, physics or a related discipline. A Master’s level qualification is desirable.

Funding Notes

This project is DTA funded; as such, the tuition fees are covered and you will receive an annual stipend of £15,009. If you require any extra information regarding the funding, please email .

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